Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fold-Over-Elastic 101

This week is all about Fold-Over-Elastic (aka FOE) here at Sew Can Do. I know many of you are asking: What the heck is it & why spend a whole week talking about it? 

Well, it's an ultra soft elastic that has a seam in the middle so it can be folded (hence the name) and used much like bias tape. But it's also ideal for pairing with anything with a bit of stretch because it keeps the edges nice and flexible.  And it doesn't have to be folded, so it can be used for LOADS of crafting ideas.

 Here are just a few:

- Finishing hems, necklines, legholes & cuffs

- Cloth diapers or diaper covers

- Headbands/hair ties

- Binding on toys, blankets, place mats, bags, etc.

As well as:
- Sewing underwear or bathing suits easily
- Fun & colorful jewelry
- Making awesome ruffles (no need for a serger!!)
- Cute & easy waistbands (casings are a thing of the past!)
- Pacifier/toy clips and more!

The awesome thing is it comes in loads of colors & super cute prints to go with just about everything.  You just have to know where to find it to get the best selection (and it is not the chain fabric stores).  My hands-down favorite source is FOE Your Diaper.  No other place even comes close!

Tips for working with FOE:
- It comes in various widths, but the 1" is the easiest/most versatile to work with.
- Sew it on using a wide zig-zag stitch. Preferably the triple zig-zag stitch set to 5.0 wide by 2.0 long
- Make sure the edge of the stitch is close to the open edge of the FOE so it won't curl up
- If you want to add
- Just sew it on like you would bias tape ~or~ stretch it out as you sew for an elasticized edge

I made this little fleece ensemble with a really simple shape:

By stretching out the FOE on the cuffs & neckline while sewing, I was able to give it a nice gathered look and still have an easy pull-on style.  A huge time saver instead of trying to gather, pleat or fold the fabric.

It's also much easier to sew on FOE than making plackets for buttons or snaps, or having to make a casing to snake some regular elastic through.  And it really adds that extra embellishment too.  Fun & functional!!

Want to win some FOE for yourself?  Click HERE to enter the giveaway for a $50 gift certificate to FOE Your Diaper.  $50 buys a lot of FOE & the selection there is awesome, so get in on the giveaway action!


  1. I assume you must know that you have one of the most adorable babies in the world. Very expressive eyes.

    Oh, yeah, the clothing is cute, too!

  2. Thanks so much for the kinds words on this outfit!

    Dragonmama - that is so sweet of you to say. We think she's pretty special inside & out:) I suspect her being my model makes my stuff look good no matter what, so she's got a guaranteed job on here!

  3. It's so cute and so versatile! Thanks for the great tips, I'll be linking. I totally agree about your model- she has got expression down!

  4. Thank you for this page! A fellow KAMsnapper asked what fold over elastic was used for, other than diapers, and we referred her to this page. So much great info, and an adorable model to boot.

    Judy @ KAMsnaps.com


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